Record results for State’s swimming spots as we head into summer

Swimmers in NSW can paddle with peace of mind this summer, with beaches and waterways across the State registering the cleanest results on record in the 2019-2020 State of the Beaches report.

North Narrabeen Beach, northern beaches, Sydney

Environment Minister Matt Kean said 89% of the 228 swimming sites monitored across the State were graded as ‘Very Good’ or ‘Good’ in the latest report.

“We haven’t had beaches this clean since the Beachwatch program started in 1989,” Mr Kean said.

“While water quality results can vary year-on-year, based largely on the amount of rainfall we receive, this is great news for locals and visitors alike.

“As we head into the swimming season I encourage everyone to not only Slip, Slop and Slap and swim between the flags, but to be COVID Safe on our beaches this summer.”

Open ocean beaches across the State recorded excellent results with 98% of the 126 monitored, including the iconic Bondi and Manly, graded as ‘Very Good’ or ‘Good’.

Improvements were also recorded at estuarine beaches, lakes and lagoons across the state with 85% of estuarine swimming sites and 42% of lakes and lagoons graded as ‘Very Good’ or ‘Good’.

Water quality at five swimming sites was downgraded compared to last year, including at Swansea Heads Little Beach in the Hunter and Hayes St Beach in Sydney.

The State of the Beaches report provides an overview of the water quality at 228 swimming locations monitored under the Beachwatch and Beachwatch Partnership programs across New South Wales.

The full 2019-20 State of the Beaches report is available at: Annual State of the beaches reporting.

Regional snapshot

  • Sydney: 92% of swimming sites in the Sydney region were graded as Good or Very Good – a 2% improvement on last year. Water quality improved at 5 estuarine beaches and lagoon swimming sites, while a decline was recorded at four ocean and estuarine beaches.
  • Central Coast: 59% of swimming sites in the Central Coast region were graded as Good or Very Good – a 9% improvement on last year. Water quality improved at 5 swimming sites, including at popular Soldiers Beach.
  • Hunter: 96% of swimming sites in the Hunter region were graded as Good or Very Good – consistent with last year. Water quality improved at 3 sites, including Redhead Beach and declined at Swansea Heads Little Beach.
  • North Coast: 83% of swimming sites in the North Coast region were graded as Good or Very Good – a 5% improvement on last year. Improved water quality was recorded at Lake Ainsworth East.
  • Illawarra: 100% of swimming sites in the Illawarra region were graded as Good or Very Good – consistent with last year.
  • South Coast: 97% of swimming sites in the South Coast region were graded as Good or Very Good – consistent with last year.

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